April 18, 2014

Fact Friday #14 – First Meal on the Moon

Filed under: Christianity,Fact Friday — Tags: , , , — Screenhog @ 4:01 am

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Hello, and welcome to a special Good Friday edition of Fact Friday with Screenhog. I am Screenhog, and today we’re talking about the first meal eaten on the moon.

The first men to land on the moon were two astronauts from NASA’s Apollo 11 space program: Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin. In July of 1969, their lunar module landed on the surface of the moon, but how did they get their nutritious energy before taking that “giant leap for mankind”? One word: bacon. Well actually, it was more than that… the official first meal on the moon consisted of peaches, sugar cookies, pineapple-grapefruit drink, coffee, and bacon squares.

But was it the first food eaten on the moon? Actually, no. Only a few minutes after the Apollo 11 lunar module touched down on the moon, Buzz Aldrin pulled out plastic packages containing a small wafer and a vial of wine. Aldrin was about to perform the Christian ceremony of Communion, and before doing so, spoke this message to the millions of people watching the live broadcast of the Apollo landing:

“This is the LM pilot. I’d like to take this opportunity to ask every person listening in, whoever and wherever they may be, to pause for a moment and contemplate the events of the past few hours and to give thanks in his or her own way.”

Four hours later, Aldrin and Armstrong stepped out on the surface of the moon and into the history books as representatives of one of the greatest scientific achievements of all time.

This has been Fact Friday. Screenhog out.

March 18, 2013

“What’s In The Bible” – video series review

Filed under: Christianity,Reviews,Writing — Screenhog @ 9:41 pm

(The Bible) is the best-selling, most influential book in history. It has been banned, burned, smuggled, fought for, lived for, and even died for, and yet many of us hardly know what’s in it.

- Phil Vischer (creator of What’s in the Bible)

“Properly read, the Bible is the most potent force for atheism ever conceived.”

- Isaac Asimov, science fiction writer

I’ve been a Christian for most of my life. I’ve been through countless Sunday School classes and Christian summer camps, which means that I’ve seen more than my share of Christian-themed videos. Some depicted Bible stories, others were about Christian morals, and some even managed to squeeze in a Bible verse or two.

However, I’ve seen nothing quite like this series. It all centers around one core idea – take the entire Bible, from beginning to end, explain it as simply and completely as possible for anyone who happens to watch it, and entertain them while doing it. The result is “Buck Denver Asks: What’s In The Bible?”, a 13 DVD series of hour-long videos.

Buck Denver, like most of the characters on the show, is a puppet, which may give you the impression that this is entirely a preschool show. Fortunately, that’s not the case: while it does go through the classic Sunday School stories like David & Goliath or the parting of the Red Sea, it goes through plenty of higher concepts too, such as how the canon of the Bible was decided, or the relevance of old Jewish laws for Christians today. It also doesn’t shy away from asking the difficult questions: why is there so much killing in the Old Testament? Why would a loving God allow sin?

While this kind of subject matter would seem dry or depressing at first glance, the show does a good job of keeping things light through witty characters (brother adventurers Clive and Ian being my personal favourites). And, to keep things on track, the show never fails to mention that the Bible is actually all about a single story: the fall of man from a state of perfection, and God’s rescue plan of redemption.

Admittedly, the show is not without its faults. Some of the humour does fall flat, and the song quality varies greatly. It also lacks a good female presence: while four of the show’s puppet characters are female, only one of them shows up with much frequency. (The lack of a female presence didn’t exactly hurt the popularity of The Muppets, but it is worth mentioning.)

When I read the news, it’s interesting to see both non-Christians and Christians are encouraging people to read the Bible, albeit with different motives. Many non-Christians believe that people only talk about the Bible as “the good book” out of ignorance, and that if they truly read the book, they’d see it for what it really is. On the other hand, many Christians believe that within the Bible are the keys for people to find life’s meaning and true joy, and groups such as the Gideons hand out thousands of Bibles for free just to get the word out.

In the midst of it all, there’s “What’s in the Bible”, doing its best to introduce as many people as possible to what the Bible is and why it matters. And although the series isn’t completely finished yet (as of this writing, DVD 10 was just released), I’m pretty impressed with how well it’s doing it.

May 21, 2011

End?

Filed under: Christianity — Screenhog @ 3:25 pm

The End Is Near... The Friend is Christ It’s rare that I comment on current events, but there’s been a lot of talk lately about the end of the world and something Christians call “the Rapture”.

The Rapture, overly simplified, is when Jesus comes and takes his followers away, and to according to pastor Harold Camping, it was supposed to be today.

Of course, he also predicted it to happen 1994, and he’s not the only one to make a claim like this. The year 2000 was a pretty big deal for Rapture-watchers, what with all the hype over Y2K. In 1988, there was a now-infamous book entitled “88 Reasons Why the Rapture Will Be in 1988″. Going back further, it seems there hasn’t been a century since the resurrection of Jesus when someone hasn’t made a claim to a specific date of his return.

It goes without saying that they were all wrong, and while I have no record of this, I have no doubt that they were all laughed at as well.

I am not laughing at Harold Camping, and I have no desire to judge him. All right, I have some desire to judge him… but God instructed me, and all Christians, not to. God’s instruction is to “Love your neighbor”, and he is my neighbor.

Here’s what else I know:

  • I’m supposed to keep watch for when Jesus does come.
  • No one knows the day or hour that will happen.
  • For my life on this earth, I am supposed to live like Jesus would want. (I’m still working on that one.)
  • I’m supposed to avoid false prophecy.

Those things, I believe, would be good for everyone to remember. After all, December 2012 is just around the corner. If Jesus doesn’t come before then, you know there will be more than a few people expecting that he’s paying attention to the last days of the Mayan calendar, and this will start all over again.

December 23, 2010

The Third Christmas

Filed under: Christianity,Writing — Tags: — Screenhog @ 11:42 am

Hi. My name is Joseph.

You may have heard of me. My name comes up a lot this time of year, because over 2000 years ago, my wife, Mary, gave birth to a son, named Jesus. The celebration of his birth is called Christmas, and the story of how Jesus was born has been sometimes called “the first Christmas”. It’s a story that has been told and retold many times, and is a wonderful memory for me… but if I may, I’d like to tell you a different story this year.

It began about two months before Jesus’ second birthday. I was fixing the roof of our home in Bethlehem one night when we received a visit from a group of Persian scholars. They called themselves the Magi, and had come to Jerusalem a few days before looking for a baby who, they said, was to become “King of the Jews”.

Now, you have to realize that Jesus’ birth was very special, and I don’t mean that in a proud father sort of way. God himself caused Mary to have this child, and when he was born, his appearance was heralded by angels. Within weeks of his birth, two different prophets came to us, proclaiming that he would be a saviour of Israel.
(click to read the rest of this post…)

April 10, 2009

Easter

Filed under: Christianity,Opinion — Tags: — Screenhog @ 6:00 pm

Easter is the most important Christian holiday of the year, but it certainly hides its importance a little too well. If you were to look at any department store at Christmas, and then again at Easter, you’d conclude that Christmas is the big one. In fact, I’d even argue that if you were to look at most churches at those two times, Christmas is the bigger one.

Christmas is certainly easier to wrap your head around… “a baby is born that will save the world”. That’s nice. Isn’t that nice? Almost superheroic, really. Let’s add to that stuff like “people gave him expensive gifts to celebrate his birth”. Oh, that’s even better! That gives me a way to celebrate! I’ll give gifts! I’ll get gifts! Christmas is the best time of the year!

Easter. That’s a lot tougher to celebrate. The baby that was born grows into a man named Jesus, is convicted of crimes, killed, but then rises from the dead within a few days informing people that he’s actually the Son of God. The details of his death are gruesome, and the details of his resurrection are, to most people, unbelievable.

How exactly are we supposed to turn something like Easter into foil-covered chocolates or wrapping paper? I’ve seen Biblical wrapping paper at Christmastime, with nativity scenes and angels and shepherds, but never Easter. An empty tomb, a crucified man, God having a victory over demonic forces… all of it is very difficult to commercialize, and so we celebrate it with bunnies and chicks and eggs and a host of odd symbols based on ancient Babylonian customs that don’t make sense to us. But, in doing so, we are forced to ignore this:

“If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men.”

If Jesus was just a nice guy who said a few nice things and died in a horrible way, then everything changes. All Christians become lunatics, and all people of this earth lose the one true source of hope, freedom, and a relationship with God.

But, if it did happen, and Jesus did die to cover everything that you did wrong before rising from the dead and conquering death… well, then you have a choice, don’t you? Do you accept the gift? Do you want to be saved?

Many of the people I know don’t want to answer yes or no to that question… they’d rather just avoid the question entirely, and get on with their lives. I imagine that this is probably why we still have the Easter Bunny… it’s a lot easier to believe that we get a few days off work to celebrate a rabbit than having to answer that question that the annoying Christians keep asking: Do you want to know Jesus?

I won’t ask you that question. All I can say is that it’s been well worth it for me. :)

Happy Easter!

February 7, 2009

Art Challenge – David and Goliath

Filed under: Christianity,Digital Painting — Tags: — Screenhog @ 5:24 pm

The art challenge at work for Monday is “David and Goliath”, and while it was meant more figuratively, as in an underdog story, I decided to go completely literal with it:

(click to read the rest of this post…)

January 23, 2009

Human Brussels Sprouts

Filed under: Christianity,Opinion — Screenhog @ 10:36 pm

So, I came across this in the Bible recently:

“For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are the smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life.”

Upon reading this, I was hit with the strangest thought – Christians are human brussels sprouts.

You know about brussels sprouts, right? They have this certain chemical inside of them that certain people can taste and other people can’t, and this is one of the reasons why some people find that they taste horribly bitter, while others don’t find that true at all (and, in fact, will even say they taste sweet sometimes).

Now, I don’t have a sense of smell – that’s a topic for another day – so whenever I hear about “aroma”, that’s pretty much the closest thing I can relate it to, and when the verses I was reading talked about the same aroma being fragrant or deathly to different people, it clicked with me. As a Christian, I have a message that I’m supposed to tell the whole world. It’s a message of extreme importance, and it has saved my life. And yet, to many people, that same message reeks.

I don’t really know how to deal with that yet. I’m sure I talk about Christianity proportionally more on this site than I do in real life. I want to show people my faith properly, and this is the best way I know how to do it… giving any reader the freedom to walk away from what I’m saying at any time. But, if the message of the Gospel really is the most important message in the world, shouldn’t I be telling everyone about it, no matter how much it reeks for them?

I don’t know. All I know is that sometimes, people learn to like brussels sprouts.

December 24, 2008

Christmas Carol Mad Gab

Filed under: Christianity,Puzzles,Wordplay — Tags: , — Screenhog @ 9:52 am

You know that game “Mad Gab”? Where you have a group of words, and if you say them in a different way, it sounds like a well-known phrase? Like “read earned whose sander” sounds like “Return To Sender”?

Well, if you like those, here’s some for you to try. They’re all fairly well known Christmas Carols:

1. Oak Wrist Mystery
2. Sigh Land In Height
3. Rude Olive Their Head Knows Rained Ear
4. Caw Dressed Deem Air Reach End Almond
5. A Wayne Aim May Injure
6. Lid Dolled Rum Herb Poi
7. Sill Verb Else
8. Far Oz Teethe Is No Man
9. Joint Tooth How Hurled
10. Fall Lease Snuff Eat Add
11. It Cay Map Pawn Amid Nigh Tickle Ear
12. Oak A Mocha Me Manual
13. Could Keen Gwen Senseless
14. Owe Calm Mall Leaf Hateful
(click to read the rest of this post…)

December 21, 2008

Angels We Have Heard on High

Filed under: Christianity,Comics,Sketch — Tags: — Screenhog @ 10:47 am

Heard a Christmas CD today. Bet you can guess what the very first song I heard was:

Angels we have heard on high, sweetly singing o'er the planes

November 23, 2008

Trinity

Filed under: Christianity,Wordplay — Tags: — Screenhog @ 2:56 pm

Had a neat idea for a logo. It’s probably too complex to be a proper logo, but it’s still pretty neat.

Trinity Triangle Ambigram

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